Is Cloud Computing the Next Employment Driver?

December 22nd, 2012
in econ_news, syndication

Econintersect:  There are credible estimates that as many as 23 million people in the U.S. who want full-time jobs are unemployed or under-employed.  A report cloudSMALLfrom the analyst firm IDC earlier this year indicated that nearly 1/3 of that number of new jobs are being created in IT (information technology) cloud services by 2015.  Unfortunately only 1.2 million of these will be North American jobs, according to the report.  The big winners will be China and India expected, to have about 1/2 of all the cloud computing jobs by the end of 2015.  These jobs will result from the projected $1.1 trillion a year in new business revenues.  The IDC study was commissioned by Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).

Follow up:

EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) will also do better than North America, with about 75% more cloud computing jobs in 2015.  The following info graphic covers the EMEA outlook for cloud computing:

Click on info graphic for larger image.


A Microsoft press release 19 December 2012 indicates that there is a skills shortage for the cloud computing wave we are entering.  Referring to a new IDC study, Microsoft says that there are already more than 1.2 million job openings in cloud computing that have no candidates available who have the requisite skills.  That is approximately 75% of the 1.7 jobs open today.

Here is an excerpt from one of the Microsoft press releases:

Demand for “cloud-ready” IT workers will grow by 26 percent annually through 2015, with as many as 7 million cloud-related jobs available worldwide, according to an IDC White Paper sponsored by Microsoft Corp. and released today. However, IT hiring managers report that the biggest reason they failed to fill an existing 1.7 million open cloud-related positions in 2012 is because job seekers lack the training and certification needed to work in a cloud-enabled world, according to the IDC White Paper, Climate Change: Cloud’s Impact on IT Organizations and Staffing (November 2012).

In the United States, the IT sector is experiencing modest growth of IT jobs in general, with the average growth in IT employment between 1.1 and 2.7 percent per year through 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, amid modest growth of IT jobs, cloud-sector jobs are increasing swiftly. With the workforce unprepared to take on these jobs, there is an urgent need to retrain existing IT professionals and encourage students to pursue cloud-related IT trainings and certifications, according to the IDC White Paper.

“Despite modest growth of the IT sector overall in the U.S., cloud-ready jobs are increasing as we head into 2013, but with this increase comes the harsh reality that workforces around the world are steps behind when it comes to attaining the skills necessary to thrive in the cloud computing industry,” said Cushing Anderson, program vice president, IDC. “Unlike IT skill shortages in the past, solving this skills gap is extremely challenging, given that cloud brings a new set of skills, which haven’t been needed in the past. There is no one-size-fits-all set of criteria for jobs in cloud computing. Therefore, training and certification is essential for preparing prospective job candidates to work in cloud-related jobs.”

So there will be an explosion of jobs in the rapidly growing field of cloud computing.  Over the next three years there will be enough new jobs to relieve almost 1/3 of the U.S. employment slack.  Unfortunately for the U.S., 90% of those millions of jobs will be filled in other parts of the world.

Yes, cloud computing is going to be a big employment driver, but mostly outside the U.S.

John Lounsbury


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